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Jupiter has long been an object of wonder, with its dramatic Great Red Spot, its numerous and varied satellites and the stunning collision of the comet Shoemaker Levy 9 with the Jovian atmosphere in 1994. This free course, Jupiter and its moons, will introduce you to our solar systems largest planet and its major satellites and the history of their exploration.
By the end of this free course you should be able to:
- retrieve, evaluate and interpret data and information about Jupiter and its moons, so that (for example) using a close-up picture of Jupiter and its moons’ surfaces you could identify the types of feature visible and recognise the processes responsible for creating them.
- Current section: Introduction
- Learning outcomes
- 1 Chapter 9 of Teach Yourself Planets
- 2 Discussion of Chapter 9: Jupiter itself
- 2.1 Jupiter and its missions: an update
- 2.2 Jupiter's magnetic field and radiation zone
- 2.3 Jupiter's atmosphere
- 2.3 Movie 1 – Voyager 1 'Blue Movie'
- 2.3 Movie 2 – Red Spot Movie
- 2.3 Movie 3 – Jupiter Polar Winds Movie
- 2.3 Movie 4 – Planetwide Colour Movie
- 2.3 Movie 5 – Small Storms Near Great Red Spot
- 2.3 Movie 6 – Jupiter Hot Spot
- 2.3 Movie 7 – Jupiter's High Latitudes
- 2.3 Jupiter's atmosphere (continued)
- 3 Discussion of Chapter 9: Rings and the satellite family
- 4 Questions
- Keep on learning
Study this free course
Enrol to access the full course, get recognition for the skills you learn, track your progress and on completion gain a statement of participation to demonstrate your learning to others. Make your learning visible!
Jupiter and its moons
The core of this unit is Chapter 9 of Teach Yourself Planets, by David Rothery, which is found in Section 1 of this unit page by page, followed by a guided discussion and questions in Sections 2 through 4. Note that all references in Chapter 9 of Teach Yourself Planets to other chapters, are to other chapters of Teach Yourself Planets – these references are not to other sections of this unit.
Jupiter is the first of the giant planets and has a large family of satellites. Four of these are much more substantial than any asteroid and can justifiably be regarded as worlds in their own rights.
This unit is from our archive and is an adapted extract from Planets: an introduction (S196) which is no longer taught by The Open University. If you want to study formally with us, you may wish to explore other courses we offer in.
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This free course includes adapted extracts from an Open University course which is no longer available to new students. If you found this interesting you could explore more free Physics and Astronomy courses or view the range of currently available OU Physics and Astronomy courses.
Copyright & revisions
Originally published: Wednesday, 8th June 2011
Last updated on: Friday, 1st August 2014
- Creative-Commons: The Open University is proud to release this free course under a Creative Commons licence. However, any third-party materials featured within it are used with permission and are not ours to give away. These materials are not subject to the Creative Commons licence. See terms and conditions. Full details can be found in the Acknowledgements and our FAQs section.
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